Toestellen die te snel stuk gaan

Test-Aankoop start meldpunt voor toestellen die te snel stuk gaan

Heel interessant initiatief en ik kan me afvragen waarom dat zoland geduurd heeft.
Ziehier het artikel:
24/11/16- Knack Moneytalk

For our English speaking readers

The article mentions the set-up of a new initiatiive by the Belgian organization TEST AANKOOP (Test Purchases). It wants to point out companies who use built-in obsolescence to force consumer to buy new equipment, a practice I denounce also in my book Toxic Capitalism.
More about this all in other posts.


Het idee voor toestellen die te snel stuk gaan

De consumentenorganisatie wil met een nieuwe actie fabrikanten onder druk zetten om duurzamer te produceren. Als er genoeg bewijzen zijn dat een fabrikant een product bewust doet verouderen, sluit Test-Aankoop juridische acties niet uit.
Mijn reactie:
Prachtig idee. In mijn boek (Toxic Capitalism) klaag ik de vicieuse cirkel aan van kopen, weinig gebruiken, niet herstellen en terug kopen. Het ergste is inderdaad dat vandaag met alle expertise de fabrikanten het idee van “Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence” meer en meer toepassen. Ik verdedig met voorbeelden hoe men zelf een en ander kan herstellen. Maar producten zoals Apple iPhone opladers met de kabeltjes tonen het probleem: de isolatie is zo gemaakt dat het kapot gaat na een paar jaar terwijl isolatie van oudere kabeltjes 30 jaar meegaat. Dikwijls is het NIET moelijk te herstellen voor technische redenen. De “Repair Cafes” zijn ook een goed initiatief.

Canada in Conversation with Minister Catherine McKenna

The event

One more in the series Canada in Conversation with Minister Catherine McKenna, in charge of Environment and Climate Change.
Chargé d’Affaires Cindy Termorshuizen was the host on 6 December in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing and introduced the importance of investing in clean technologies to tackle climate change and to meet their Paris Summit commitments.
A number of Canadian companies active in clean technologies were present.
Another highlight: Canadians are gearing up for the 150th anniversary of Confederation and are invited to take part in the year-long celebration, as shown in the video that also featured Canada’s national parks.

The program

After the introduction by the Chargé d’Affaires, Ms. Catherine McKenna delivered a keynote address and then participated in a conversation with Mr. Chai Fahe. The talk was moderated by Ms. Wu Changhua.
A networking reception followed the panel discussion at the Official Residence.

Canada’s clean technology industry is one of the country’s most promising of the 21st Century. It operates across 10 sectors, and the “clean tech” term encompasses companies finding green solutions to everything from energy efficiency to renewable energy, from waste management to green transportation, and from biofuels to greener solutions for the oil and gas industry. Canada’s clean tech sector is highly competitive and an innovation-led industry, committed to investing heavily in research and development and serving international markets. Indeed, Canadian clean tech has a key role to play in the global race to address climate change and helping Canada and other countries to meet their Paris Summit commitments.
Canada’s clean tech capabilities is said to present terrific potential for Canada-China cooperation in a range of areas, including using energy more efficiently, renewable power generation, smart grid distribution, nuclear energy, hydrogen fuel cell technology, and carbon capture and storage.

The speakers

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, practiced competition and international trade law in Canada and Indonesia and was senior negotiator with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in East Timor. She also served as senior advisor on the former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer’s review of Canada’s military justice system. Ms. McKenna co-founded Canadian Lawyers Abroad, a charitable organization that works in developing countries and with Indigenous communities in Canada. She served as Executive Director of the Banff Forum, a public policy organization for young leaders. Ms. McKenna taught at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Ms. McKenna was elected in October 2015 and appointed Minister of Environment and Climate Change in November 2015.

Mr. Chai Fahe is Vice President of Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.

Ms. Wu Changhua chairs the China Redesign Hub and acts as the China/Asia Region Liaison for Jeremy Rifkin Office. She is a leading Chinese policy expert in sustainable development, climate change, environmental protection, green financing, and technology innovation. She worked with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on Breaking the Climate Deadlock project for the Copenhagen process, chaired the Global Agenda Council on Climate Change at the World Economic Forum, and served on the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism Committee and the Carbon Market Leadership Policy Dialogue. She has chaired two boards of The Climate Group in Greater China and acted as the Group’s Director to advance China’s low carbon economy. She holds a Master in Law from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ School of Journalism and an MA in environmental policy and management from the University Maryland.

Highlights of the discussion

Canada will invest a large sum for further innovation and action in clean energy in the next four years.
Technologies highlighted by the Canadian side are geothermal energy, hydrogen fuel cells and more.
Mr. Chai very well described the challenges China faces in this respect, such as the need for a more stable and balanced electric network with smart grid and energy storage, to eliminate the conflict between the irregular power supply from renewables such as wind and solar and the demand from consumers.
He also agreed that lithium cell technology was not sufficient to deal with it.
I raised two questions: what technologies China looks at for energy storage and how to deal with the waste of heating in Chinese building due to a lack of proper monitoring and regulation of the supply.
Next year China is to start the national carbon trade market.

China Daily promotes a better environment

Positive efforts

China Daily promotes a better environment through regular ads. I wish they would do it more in Chinese and in Chinese media, as the key is to change the many bad habits of our Chinese friends.
Concerns for the environment, pollution and waste, are growing.
See here some of the ads:

More education needed

In articles to come, some more on the often sad situations in China’s environment. Failure to recycle properly, non-existing garbage sorting, plastic thrown anywhere polluting the land and the oceans. The government is aware but there is massive need to educate the people and implement the (existing) laws to protect the environment.
Yes, China Daily promotes a better environment, also through many articles highlighting the problems, and not only related to air pollution. But so much more needed.

Women not allowed in public and in cafes

TV5 documentary

Today I was watching TV5 and saw a documentary “hidden camera” about women not allowed in public. It showed how in several neighborhoods in France women are unwelcome to walk in the street, especially if they are in a skirt and with make-up. They are also barred from cafés to have a coffee, where it is men only. The journalists had to stop at times as it became too dangerous.
I could not find back a link to this program, a pity because it is very well done.
Those women who dare come out are ejected. harassed and insulted. Obviously the neighborhoods are Muslim. The men say the women should stay at home.

Not only in France

This reality is often downplayed by the politicians and some naïve “human rights” people (in this respect they are a joke). It also happens in Belgium, especially in Brussels.
See: “Salope, pute, pétasse”: c’est dur d’être une femme en rue à Bruxelles (won’t translate those ugly words):

And also:,sofie-peeters-femme-de-la-rue-bruxelles,696077.asp

It shows the breakdown of our Western society but also explains why politicians like Marine Le Pen are coming up strongly while their policies are often rejected (as by me) for being simply racist.
If those “foreigners” (who often have a French or Belgian passport!) cannot accept our society and cannot show mutual respect and tolerance, they should leave.
They don’t belong.

Against misogyny

Definition according to Wikipedia:

Misogyny is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification. Misogyny can occasionally be found within sacred texts of religions and mythologies, and various influential Western philosophers and thinkers have been described as misogynistic.

Obviously this is all unacceptable in our Western world.


(translation: Finally, about the the main issue, we are rather agreeing)
Some religions seem anti-women, but that mostly applies to the extremists; fortunately many religious people reject this discrimination, so we should not generalize.

No to racism in cartoons and videos

A few cartoons

Say no to racism in cartoons. Simple. These are really cool.

Inside we are all black

I recently saw a video clip on WeChat:
A white woman explaining to her daughter who saw a black girl playing with clay in the park, that inside, we are all black. A black girl had once painted herself with the white clay and God was amused. So he painted some of us white. We all are the same, she said.
As usual some people did not like it (one can never make everybody happy) but I think it is cute and well a nice story for a little girl.
See the clip and the negative comments:
“Mom, Why Are They Black?” Mom’s Answer To A Little Girl’s Innocent Question Sounds Patronising

But others liked it:

Fracking and earthquakes

Possible link between fracking and earthquakes

In my book Toxic Capitalism I made a lot of reservations about fracking, causing side-effects such as earthquakes and contamination of water wells. I was wondering how this further evolved, in view of the massive increase in fracking, especially in the USA.
In Alberta, Canada, a direct link between fracking and earthquakes came up. It was researched as explained in detail in the New York Times article dated 17 November by Henry Fountain:
See the full article here:

Some excerpts on fracking and earthquakes

In the debate over fracking of oil and gas wells, opponents often cite the risk that the process can set off nearby earthquakes. But scientists say that in the United States, fracking-induced earthquakes are not common.
In Canada, however, a spate of earthquakes in Alberta within the last five years has been attributed to fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, in which water, chemicals and sand are injected at high pressure into a well drilled in a shale formation to break up the rock and release oil and gas.
Now, scientists at the University of Calgary who studied those earthquakes, near Fox Creek in the central part of the province, say the quakes were induced in two ways: by increases in pressure as the fracking occurred, and, for a time after the process was completed, by pressure changes brought on by the lingering presence of fracking fluid.
“The key message is that the primary cause of injection-induced seismicity in Western Canada is different from the central United States,” said David W. Eaton, a professor of geophysics at the University of Calgary and co-author of a paper in the journal Science describing the research. The findings could help regulators take steps to avoid such induced earthquakes, he said.
Scientists say most of the recent earthquakes in Oklahoma and other parts of the United States have been caused by the burial of wastewater from all kinds of oil and gas wells rather than by the fracking process itself. Wastewater is injected under pressure into disposal wells drilled into a sandstone or other permeable formation, and flows into the rock. That can cause pressure changes in the formation that can upset the equilibrium around a fault zone, causing an earthquake as the fault slips.
In the Fox Creek area in Alberta, where oil and gas companies have been drilling in recent years into a formation called the Duvernay shale, earlier research had seen links between the earthquakes — all of which were minor and caused little damage — and fracking, rather than wastewater injection.
They found two patterns to the seismicity. To the east in the fault zone, most of the earthquakes occurred during the fracking process itself, which lasted up to a month. To the west, there were few immediate quakes; they occurred intermittently over several months after the fracking ended.
Dr. Eaton said he and others were conducting more research to understand why Alberta responds differently to fracking than Oklahoma and other parts of the United States. “It’s a different situation,” he said, “and understanding the origin of the differences is important.”


In my book I agreed one cannot stop technology, but that extreme care was needed to avoid the undesired side-effects.
With the deep economic impact of fracturing in the USA the world economics on oil have changed and it has brought sizeable benefits to the U.S.
On the other hand as the article explains, more careful studies are needed to lower the risks. Yes, that might make it more expensive but it is no excuse for damaging the environment.

Beijing faces big problem in sorting garbage

Anybody sorts garbage?

As mentioned in my book Toxic Capitalism, we have a big problem in sorting garbage in Beijing, and probably everywhere in China.
Despite the good intentions of the city to provide some marked garbage containers to every household in some buildings, few people do sort garbage and even if they do, the recyclers jump on the building’s garbage containers to remove whatever they are interested in. While that is not that bad, they start messing up the containers and anyway, once the garbage is collected it ends up all together.

Beijing admits a defeat

See article dated 8 November 2016 “Why, after 16 years, is it still so difficult to sort garbage?”, by China Daily:
China Daily article
I quote the full article as it lays bare the problem:

The Beijing Municipal Commission of City Management recently said that some communities will pioneer garbage sorting, with the household waste being collected at different times of the day according to the type of trash it is. However, as Beijing Youth Daily points out, Beijing has been listed as a pioneer city for garbage sorting for 16 years and little progress has been made:
Some communities complain that their residents know little about how to sort garbage. If that’s true, it is really sad news because Beijing was listed as one of eight pioneering cities for garbage sorting in 2000. Why is it so difficult for residents to sort garbage 16 years after it became a policy?
It is unfair to say the government has done nothing. On the contrary, the municipal governments of the eight cities have invested heavily in improving the hardware. In Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing, as well as the other five pioneer cities, garbage bins for sorting purposes can be seen in communities. However, people simply put their garbage in them without sorting it.
There are two main problems. First, the municipal governments have not done enough to educate people about how to sort their garbage and what kind of waste should be put into which garbage bin. People have been asked to sort garbage, but nobody has actually shown them how to sort it or explained why it is important for them to do so.
Second, the waste management authorities do not take the matter seriously, either. Even when households do sort their garbage, when the trash trucks come the garbage is simply mixed together and transported away.
Further, the garbage processing industrial chain is far from complete. Most, if not all, of the garbage collected from communities will be burnt or buried, instead of being recycled.
So the solution lies in raising residents’ awareness of the importance of garbage sorting, more strictly ensuring the garbage collectors keep the garbage sorted, and encouraging more people to join the recycling industry. Only with comprehensive measures will garbage sorting become a success.

Worse: toxic waste

If there is a big problem in sorting garbage, worse is how to dispose of “toxic waste”, as I also mentioned in my book.
Toxic waste here: batteries of all kind and printer ink cartridges, just to name the ones I have again collected over the years.
Problem is simple: there is no place to dispose of it. I asked my (Chinese) wife and she also has no idea. Even if there are some isolated collection boxes in supermarkets (never seen any anyway!), they are too small to dispose of the cartridges. As for the energy-saving lamps, I have given up since long and throw them in the garbage. In our compound we do not have any special containers anyway.
So, Beijing citizens and your children, be warned:
“I will soon let you bury my toxic waste into your landfills to pollute the environment for your kids.”
Sorry, no other solution.

China confirms global warming

Studies confirm global warming

In a 11 November 2016 China Daily article “Study notes threat of global warming”, China confirms global warming.

Some excerpts:
Temperatures and sea levels will rise, while heat waves are set to become more frequent and deadly.
An international team of researchers studied the impact of global climate change that has occurred in the past few decades as a result of human activities, and found that a global increase in temperature of 1 degree Celsius has already had a significant affect on a wide range of basic biological processes, from genes to ecosystems.
Source: Center for Integrative Conservation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden.
There have also been noticeable changes in marine fish catches, with commercially important species moving north as the oceans get warmer. Freshwater fish have also been affected, and the impact of global climate change has mostly been negative.
Climate change doesn’t only affect temperatures. Changes in rainfall are more difficult to predict, but some places will get wetter and some drier. Sea levels will continue to rise and the oceans will become more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Heat waves will be more frequent and more deadly.
The research conclusion was reached after studying hundreds of previously published scientific papers. The scientists identified a set of core ecological processes and assessed the already observed impacts of climate change on each one.
The research systematically evaluated the impact of climate change on different species on Earth. It aims to make people more aware of the urgent need for reductions of carbon emissions, and give decision-makers a better understanding of the impact of global warming.
While the first 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature took a century, the next will only take a few decades.”

Global warming a challenge for country’s crops

By China Daily, 18 August 2016

Extreme weather patterns, pests and diseases are impacting food security in China and the world, according to experts at the 7th International Crop Science Congress being hosted in Beijing this week. Earth’s overall temperature rose by about 0.75 C over the last century, according to Zhang Weijian, the chief scientist of agro-ecology at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Trump and his hoax claim

Among the many election absurdities of Trump, his claim that China invented global warming stands out. China told him flatly it actually was initiated by Republican predecessors (who were a little more clever).
“China tells Trump that climate change is not a hoax” – 18 November 2016
US President-elect claims climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese

China couldn’t have invented global warming as a hoax to harm US competitiveness because it was Donald Trump’s Republican predecessors who started climate negotiations in the 1980s, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said.
US Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush supported the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in initiating global warming talks even before China knew that negotiations to cut pollution were starting, Liu told reporters at United Nations talks on Wednesday in Marrakech, Morocco.

I like one of the comments:
“Probably we also haven’t been on the moon and Elvis is still alive, anyone in his right mind who denies that climate change is happening should loose his right as an adult to vote.”

The call for Sharia law in Belgium

Sharia law in Belgium?

This pretty chilling video has been circulating, again, in Beijing and it upsets some Belgian residents who are questioned by Chinese, to explain what is going on. Mostly a call for Sharia law in Belgium plus extremist blabber. With the recent terrorist attacks in Belgium, our country has gotten a dubious reputation. The dubious “star” is Fouad Belkacem (a.k.a Abu Imram).

Posted in April 2012 on CBS (Christian Broadcast Network), according to many being a questionable source.
Also here (best quality):

Sharia for Belgium

Here more about the movement Sharia for Belgium that had promoted Sharia law in Belgium.
Belgian terror group sentenced: Sharia4Belgium’s ‘charismatic leader’ Fouad Belkacem imprisoned for 12 years. Dozens of other members of the group that plotted to impose sharia law, received lesser sentences
by Robert-Jan Bartunek – 12 February 2015

More details:
Sharia4Belgium – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sharia4Belgium was a Belgian radical Salafist organization which called for Belgium to convert itself into an Islamist state. In February 2015 the group was designated a terrorist organization by a Belgian judge.

Also to note: Belkacem had already been convicted in 2012 for incitement of hate against non-Muslims. Other convictions mentioned (burglary, etc.) I could not verify.

What about now?

Well, happy to know our Belgian government has acted against this extremist group.
Unfortunately the danger of the whole movement is still there and the future of Belgium (as well as other EU countries) will depend on how the governments act. Never too late, despite all the mistakes committed by our politicians, to let this happen and the influence of these people growing out of control. Still today, some “conservative Muslims” want to shovel down our throats their “views” on our women, our society and our life style.
It is not a question to “ban Muslims”, it is the question for moderate Muslims to take the lead and show smooth integration and mutual respect is possible.

Jeff Foxworthy on Muslims

I did check this… It is a fake news going around in the Internet.
The here referenced list of “You may be a Muslim” jokes {or “Jeff Foxworthy on Muslims”) was widely circulated via the Internet at the end of 2010, attributed to comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Although its structure is somewhat imitative of one of Foxworthy’s signature humor routines, the “You might be a redneck if …” cycle of jokes, that’s all it has in common with the famous comedian. Jeff’s brother, Jay, confirmed for us that this material was not written by his sibling.

On the other hand…  Judge for yourself if you find it far-fetched/offensive/pretty accurate/scandalous/funny:

  1. If you refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor.
    You may be a Muslim
  1. If you own a £3,000 machine gun and £5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes.
    You may be a Muslim
  1. If you have more wives than teeth.
    You may be a Muslim
  1. If you wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon unclean.
    You may be a Muslim
  1. If you think vests come in two styles: Bullet-proof and suicide.
    You may be a Muslim
  1. If you can’t think of anyone you haven’t declared Jihad against
    You may be a Muslim
  1. If you consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
    You may be a Muslim

8. If you were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
You may be a Muslim

  1. If you have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four.
    You may be a Muslim
  1. If you find this offensive or racist and don’t forward it.
    You may be a Muslim

leburkunuHere is the solution for the dress code:
Le Burkunu (needs to be read in French).
A bit of humor is needed amid all this depressing views…